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Attending a Customer's Funeral??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RB, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    One of my elderly customers husband died . Their daughter came into town (who I only met once before) and asked me if would be a pallberer (sp). I said I would and I showed up and did it. All the time I felt so out of place. I know my customer appreciated what I did because she told me a million times.

    I wanted to ask if anyone ever attends a funeral or a viewing when one of their customers dies (particularly a elderly customer you have had for several years)? Personally, I only pay my respects when I see their spouce the next time I visit their property, and I will rarely send a card expressing my condolences. After this experience I will always send a card and I'm wondering if it is appropriate to visit the funeral home?

    What are your thoughts?

  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I would have done the same thing if the customer asked me.
    I had a very good customer(got me 5 new customers in one year), and he commited suicide.:eek: This was a real blow to me and I called the wife and expressed my condolences and said how truly sorry I was for her loss, but didn`t attend the funeral service.
    In an instance like yours, I would go to the funeral and express my condolences to the family members. I find that the eldery customers like to get to know you, because they have the time, and while doing this, a bond is formed.
  3. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I have lost some good customers over the years. Most had out of town funerals or none at all. I would have gone or helped at most of these. I always send cards. I hate to see the good ones go because they seem to be irreplaceable these days .
  4. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    I believe it is proper to pay your respects to your deceased customers.

    I understand that we all vary in our businesses, from the "one on one" approach all the way to the "never seen 'em-just bill 'em" so I suppose it depends on your circumstances.

    My operation is in a rather close-knit community and when my grandfather passed on a couple of weeks ago I saw some of my clients at his funeral. In the course of my conversations with some of my clients they would find out that my parents and grandparents live in the community and inquire as to their names and so forth. I did not tell them about his death so they must have seen the obituaries and remembered his name or was told by others. I was deeply touched by their concern and the fact they came to the funeral home. So, I would not hesitate to attend theirs or their loved ones when the time comes.

    A note of irony:

    The funeral director, upon my meeting him, inquired as to my occupation. As I told him I handed him my business card. Last weekend he called and explained that his nephew, who normally maintains the funeral home's lawn, had to have surgury for kidney stones and offered me the business until his nephew was able to return...if at all. I accepted, did the job, and was paid more than I would have bid the job for. I suppose he was impressed with the work as he also offered me his lawn (at his home) as well.

    Funny how things go sometimes.

    It is always proper to pay your respects.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    If I am on good terms with a member of the deceased's family I will attend. If the customer who died is the only one I know, then whats the point of going?

    The only exception was a customer who died and had no family and had told me I was in her will, good thing I showed up at the graveside service otherwise there would have been half as many people there (yes two; myself and her estate executrix). Able to give the executrix my new address and phone so she knew where to send the check!
  6. Pape's Landscape Maintenance

    Pape's Landscape Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I would have attended the funeral no doubt about it, but i feel for you being put in the akward position of being asked to be a pallberer. that normally is something for next of kin, childhood friends, co-workers etc.
    I applaud you for doing it, i would have respectfully declined that one.
    I hate funerals as it is but thats the way of the world unfortunatly.

    steve :cool:
  7. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540


    One of the worst thing about getting really old is that sometimes you outlive all of your friends, next of kin, and co-workers.

    Back in the day when my dad sold life insurance he had a client that was really old. He asked my dad if it were possible to have a small part of his policy cashed out at the time of his death. My father asked why this would be necessery and the old man replied:

    "To pay for my pallbearers".

    As it turns out, this old fellow had outlived all of his family and friends, did not attend any church or belong to any civic organizations, ect. He had no one to ask to be his pallbearers. As he was a retired professor at a local college he had arranged for the school to hire students to tote him off to his final resting place...and the school was named as beneficiary in his life insurance policy and will. He wanted the school to have "cash on hand" to pay the pallbearers.

    I served as pallbearer for both of my grandfathers...as the pallbearer pool was getting rather thin for them. Fortunately, I had both of them in my life for a long, long time. :)

    Remember, most guys in their 80's or 90's would have a heck of a time toting a casket....providing they live that long in the first place. ;)
  8. Being a pall berer at a funeral is one of the toughest things for me.
    I have seen to many peoples death especialy in the last sixties early seventies .
    It may be disrespectfull but unless it was my kin or my wifes kin or a dear friend i would not do it.
    I know dieing is a part of life but i have had to see to many dead people and to many funerals i just dont think i could do it for any body other than family and dear friends.

    BGRANT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I have attended customers funerals.After hearing your story you must be a man of integrity.
  10. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Messages: 422

    I used to doing houses in a retirement village. I stopped about 4 years ago. My customers started dieing left and right. I could'nt heandle it. I never attended their funerals. That good that you did. I felt funny going I didn't really know any of them too well. But after hearing some of you guys I will send a card or some flowers now.

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